Going to be visiting family in Poland this summer. I plan on being with family for about a week and then dedicating the rest of my trip to visiting Budapest, Prague and Vienna. I've never visited any European cities besides Krakow so doen't really know what to expect. How many days should I dedicate to spend in each city. How much should I be looking to spend for transport? Any recommendations for good spots to visit?
Been to Prague and Vienna. I'd say around 5 days for each city would be a good amount. I think Budapest is more of a 3 day city but I haven't been yet.
From Poland to Prague take Polskibus. You can get really cheap fares. I took it from Prague to Wroclaw for something like 20zl. From Prague to Vienna and then to Budapest just take trains. They're all fairly cheap.
>good spots to visit
Uhh, there's a ton in each city. Just look up on wikivoyage on what to see and do in each city.
Budapest needs more than Prague i'd say, went to both of them last year, 5 days in Prague was fine and 7 days in Budapest didn't feel like enough. also visited Vienna for a day and i wish i'd had like 3-4
>Been to Prague and Vienna. I'd say around 5 days for each city would be a good amount. I think Budapest is more of a 3 day city but I haven't been yet
what makes you say that Budapest is a 3 day city if you haven't even been there yet?
OP, I'd say spend 3 days in Vienna, 3 or 4 days in Prague, then the rest of your vacation in Budapest. 3 days is just a really short time for a city so lively, so diverse (not in people but in atmosphere, architecture, history and environment) and with so much to be experienced. Also, it's way cheaper than Vienna and Prague, so you can do a lot more with your money there than in the aforementioned places.
I definitely agree that Budapest is worth more time than Prague - so so much to take in and discover in Budapest, really an amazing (but surprisingly relaxed) city. (The main reason to spend a long long time in Prague - which is also not unpleasant - might be to try and find somewhere that serves half-decent food - but I think you still might fail) Don't know Vienna at all.
Eastern Europe has a lot of great and cheap cities. I would like you to be a bit more specific, but general guidelines:
-Don't go to any establishment recommended to you by someone you just met. This applies to everywhere in the world, but the scam is especially popular in Eastern Europe.
- 3-4 days should be more than enough for most cities. Drink hard one night, see the historicals one day, nurse a hangover one day, see the weird shit for one day/night, potentially drink hard another night. Eastern Europe is generally great for nightlife, though it's not as safe as the West.
-Clubs can be either awesome or terrifyingly terrible. I usually stick to pubs and bars. Especially true for Baltics, I've been to just about every bar in Riga and had tons of fun, but I've steered clear of every single club.
-Stay in hostels if you go alone. Ideally, look for something run by an Aussie/Kiwi or an international team. Eastern European major city hostels are terribly underrated and absolutely awesome.
This applies more to North-East than where you're going, but in general it's fine advice.
I just heard from some friends that visited Vienna that it is absolutely boring. Said that Prague wasn't too interesting either. They said istanbul was the most interesting even though its quite a trip. Any other cities that are relatively close that I should stop by?
well, Vienna IS boring, but it's a nice, calm place, with lots of reminders of the olden imperial days. it's like a less ambitious Paris.
Prague isn't really interesting either, but it's one of the most gorgeous capitals in the world - I know that may sound like a contradiction, but Prague is the perfect three-day city if you love Medieval charm and have a thing for Art Nouveau architecture. since there's not much else to do in the city than wandering around the streets and discovering all its nooks and crannies with a beer in your hand, you definitely won't need more time.
Budapest is a whole different kind of creature: from its surroundings (hilly and green Buda separated by the wide Danube from flat and urban Pest), history (there's reminders of both Roman and Ottoman times) and architecture (a mix of everything, really) to its nightlife, culinary scene, prices, people, attractions and activities (ranging from escape rooms to caving), it's everything you wish for when visiting a foreign country's capital.
Go to the Balkans. See this chick's blog for suggestions details: http://www.thebosnianaussie.com/
I can also give you some great tips
Not OP, but I plan to visit the balkans next August.
I want to enjoy weather (beaches), historical stuff (castles, museums) and nightlife (pubs and cheap beer). I was thinking about Croatia and Serbia - and nearby countries like Bosnia.
What do you suggest?
Ok, let me write out some things. General advice within the entire Balkans is to travel by bus and to prepare for the departure times beforehand. Sure, the buses are cheap but you don't have a bus driving from city to city every hour like in Western countries. If you get stuck you can find a hostel though. Unless you're on the Adriatic coastline. During high season you won't find empty rooms or whatever.
I went to Outlook Festival in Pula, Croatia, in the Istrija peninsula. The festival was in a fort and its surroundings (beaches etc), and the opening concert in the Roman amfitheatre in the city. Pula and nearby Rijeka (pic related) just outside the peninsula are gorgeous cities with a Austro-Hungarian and Venetian heritage but they don't have lots of beaches so the tourism there is mostly cultural.
South of Rijeka the entire coastline is called Dalmatija. Cities like Zadar, Split, Makarska and further south Dubrovnik (and neighboring Bosnian coastal city Neum) have plenty of beaches and a big nightlife. Crap commercial music mostly I guess but Split is a pretty big city, they're bound to have some good stuff. Zadar has a sea organ (google it), Split has Roman ruins (like temples), Makarska is more christian with little churches, Dubrovnik was a city state like Rijeka but more powerful. Lots of old buildings and if you watch GoT then you'll notice King's Landing scenes are shot there. I've been to Makarska and you can raft, hike, ride a quad, hop on a boat to islands etc. I think you can do the same things in the other cities. Further inland there's Plitvice Waterfalls. As for other cities, there's Zagreb which has plenty of stuff to do I presume. I've only spent a few hours there before getting a cheap bus ticket to Pula (I recommend the slower route because it takes you to Rijeka where you have 30 min break).
Don't know much about Serbia but Belgrade has a great nightlife. Novi Sad is also another beautiful city and they have Exit Festival there every year. It has won best festival of Europe a few times, and is similar to Sziget and Dour in terms of music and culture, and similar to Sziget in terms of locale (fort in the middle of the city, separated by a river).
I'm from Bosnia myself so every year when I go there I try to do discover lots of stuff. With that in mind I created an imgur album which I'll link to at the end of this post. Bosnia has mostly old towns, nature, and waterfalls. See if you can get an airplane to Tuzla, because it's probably one of the cheapest options. Tuzla is a small multicultural city with a nice enough old town and nightlife. They also have 3 small salt 'lakes' (Panonsko Jezero) inside the city with beaches and bars. Outside the city there's Lake Modrac which is a proper lake. In Bosnia you have more cultural stuff to do, really. Jajce is built on top of a waterfall, and in the center is a hill with a castle. Mostar has the old bridge, nearby Blagaj has a spring inside a cave, Pocitelj is an old Ottoman fort (pic related).
My suggestion is to take the train from Sarajevo to Mostar, and then to Dubrovnik.
Imgur album: http://imgur.com/a/W63BH
hey anon, I just want to tell you that I've visited your country last summer (only for a day tho) and I've fallen in love with it in an instant. you guys have a gorgeous geography, an interesting history and good dishes, and I was very bummed that I couldn't spend more time discovering Bosnia, so I'm planning on returning sometime in the next few years
Anon here. Yeah me too. I'm sort rediscovering it because I got the travel bug after a few years of vacationing without family. Most of family just visits the home village and its surroundings but I wanna just backpack across the entire Balkans.
This year I'm planning to visit/volunteer at the Sarajevo Film Festival or Exit Festival in Serbia and visiting those places I linked in the post.
Thanks for the info. So I've narrowed it down to going to Prague + Budapest OR abandoning my original plan and spending a few weeks Istanbul. I was told by some relatives that Istanbul was one of the most captivating cities in Eastern Europe. In that case I would probably fly to Istanbul and then visit family in Poland for a few weeks. So Istanbul or Prague + Budapest?
Well, Istanbul and Eastern Europe are two very different things. You were saying in your OP that you've never visited any European cities besides Krakow, and since now Istanbul is only European geographically, I'd say you'd be better off visiting Prague and Budapest, two truly European capitals, each having something unique to offer, with all the Old World charm you would need, and a modern, cosmopolitan vibe.
I'm sure Istanbul is a really great city (I've never actually been there, but I know that I could spend days there discovering the Byzantine past of the place), but it's European only technically. So I guess what I'm trying to say is that if you're looking for the euroexperience, go for Prague and Budapest, and you'll have a blast, but if you want to do something completely different, then choose Istanbul.